The San Francisco 49ers welcome rookies and quarterbacks to training camp on Monday, July 27 and veterans on Friday, July 31. They then kick things off in earnest when they hold their first practice on Saturday, August 1. The team's first preseason game is not until August 15, but in the meantime, some semblance of football is almost back in our lives!
Thus far we have looked at the depth chart bubble watch, and salary cap questions about each position. I wanted to close out the offseason by figuring out the questions left to answer for each position as we head into training camp. We won't get all the answers we seek in training camp and the preseason, but we will get a much better handle on what this team looks like heading into the 2015 season.
The idea behind this is just to figure out what we are going to be looking for in training camp reports and preseason games. When final roster cuts are made, we will look back at these questions, and ahead to questions for the regular season.
I thought we would combine running backs and fullbacks together for this next set of questions. The 49ers seemingly have a starter at each position, with Carlos Hyde and Bruce Miller coming into camp as the favorites. However, both positions feature some intriguing options further down the depth chart. I don't expect them to supplant Hyde and Miller as the starters, but we could see some serious contributions, particularly among the running backs. And so, here are some of the questions I see for the running backs and fullbacks heading into camp:
1. What kind of shape will Carlos Hyde be in now that he's the starter? I bring this up because college scouting reports referenced weight fluctuations. He reportedly shed ten pounds this offseason, so we'll see what August 1 brings.
2. Where will Kendall Hunter fit into the practice mix, as well as the early preseason depth chart?
3. How much work will Hyde get in preseason action? A leg injury cost him a chunk of practice time during the offseason workout program, so does that mean more preseason action, or do they take it easy with him to have him fresh for Week 1 of the regular season?
4. How many practice reps will Mike Davis get, and what kind of work will he get in preseason games?
5. What exactly will Jarryd Hayne be doing aside from practicing punt and kick returns? How does he look doing basic running back drills?
6. What will Trey Millard's role be in practice? How much work will he get as a traditional fullback, vs. operating in more of an h-back role?
Feel free to throw out any of your own questions for the group. We won't address every one of these position group questions every single week, but I do plan on checking back on these as August moves along. Again, this is not about what questions face the group in the regular season. Rather, it is about what we can learn from the six weeks of training camp and preseason games.